Milton post office reopens; regular hours resume after 7-month closure

Just in time for Christmas cards and packages to be sent and received, Milton’s post office has reopened more than seven months after it caught fire. The post office re-opened Saturday and resumed its regular hours. Before the fire, Milton’s post office offered 24-hour lobby access for customers to pick up their mail. It was staffed 22 hours per week, 8-10 a.m. and 2:30-4:30 p.m. weekdays, and 8-10 a.m. Saturdays. Since April, Milton customers with P.O. boxes had to drive to Cambridge City post office to get their mail, buy stamps or send packages.

Restored McGuire Hall ready to host more local events

$625,000 work on iconic RHS tower next

Known as a concert and drama venue for Richmond High School students in previous decades, the newly renovated McGuire Hall now welcomes more community events. The renovation has been a more than $1 million partnership between Richmond Community Schools and the City of Richmond Redevelopment Commission. A majority of the funding came from the commission, and RCS Chief Financial Officer Karen Scalf said RCS is “super grateful” for the assistance. The project was focused on improving the auditorium’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, adding air conditioning to make it usable all year long for a variety of gatherings. Although the HVAC and roofing upgrades aren’t visible, prior visitors will notice several changes, such as new interior painting, flooring, seats, curtains, sound and lighting systems and general technology.

Volunteers needed to revitalize skating rink

Dublin club seeks help with cleaning, repairs

Even though Jimmy Lawrence admits he doesn’t know how to skate, he’s now running a roller-skating rink and community center. Lawrence, who currently lives in Centerville, has been named the Dublin Community Club’s board president. He fills the volunteer role vacated by the late Mike Buckland, 75, who spent many hours over the years providing area children a safe place to hang out before his death in October. Since Lawrence works as an emergency medical technician for Reid Health, he said he won’t be on site at the club as much as Buckland was. However, Lawrence will oversee the building and its inventory, and scheduling of facility rentals.

RP&L measure passes by 37 votes; Zaleski, Mopps, Claypoole win contested school board seats

Wayne County voters returned many familiar faces to government offices, but a few new faces will be in leadership positions for Richmond and Northeastern schools. And, by a 37-vote margin, Richmond Power & Light will opt out of what the utility’s officials called expensive state rate studies. School boards

Richmond pharmacist Peter Zaleski and former Richmond Community Schools administrator Stacy Mopps have been elected to at-large seats on the RCS board. Of the 10 candidates, Zaleski led with 3,250 votes, or 23.15 percent. Mopps had 18.62 percent of the vote.

Early voters: A resounding ‘yes’ for paper ballots

Wayne County voters new to paper ballots consistently showed support for the process leading up to Election Day. “It was so much easier,” said Christine Guarisco of Cambridge City, who previously worked elections in Michigan. After voting at the Golay Community Center, Agnes Fisher of Milton said she likes the ease of the paper ballots and said older voters will remember them. Bob Smith of Richmond also supported the use of paper ballots after casting one at First Bank Kuhlman Center. He said he appreciated how those votes can be verified, compared to Wayne County’s votes previously cast on computerized equipment.

Cemetery’s future being plotted

Public invited to Nov. 15 meeting in Pershing; ISP investigation continues

About 50 people concerned about the future of an East Germantown cemetery gathered a month ago for an emergency meeting to take the first steps toward its reorganization. Now, several new bylaws with added safeguards are being proposed while an Indiana State Police investigation into the cemetery’s previous management is taking place. Despite being pleased with the previous turnout, the cemetery’s new board leaders are hopeful that more people will attend their next meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, for updates and to make personal connections.

Sheriff addressing council about radio upgrades

Retter: Small towns still will be able to communicate with sheriff’s office

Wayne County Sheriff Randy Retter hopes to reduce what he believes is confusion about new communication technology coming to the county. Saying that “nothing is really changing from the way it is now” regarding radio communication between county and smaller town first responders, Retter was to meet with Centerville town council this week to address any concerns. Council’s regular monthly meeting occurred after press time for this edition. County officials approved a purchase of new radios for the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office earlier this year at a cost of close to $500,000. Retter told Western Wayne News that the radios currently used by Wayne County Sheriff’s Office are about 15 years old and they are no longer supported by their manufacturer.

Are you missing out on property tax deductions?

Indiana offers 8 types of savings, but paperwork is required

As landowners get into the habit of paying property taxes twice a year, they might not pause to re-evaluate whether they are newly eligible for any deductions. For example, they might qualify because they’ve joined the 65 and older club, or maybe they’ve added geothermal heat pumps or solar power to their home. Indiana offers eight types of property tax deductions, and they aren’t automatically applied to someone’s records unless a form has been filed. Hoosiers must file for the deduction with their county auditor’s office before the end of the calendar year for tax bills to be paid in 2023. The good news is that once they’ve filed and been approved for each deduction, taxpayers do not need to reapply annually.

A group of students and educators stand together to show off certificates of recognition

Centerville schools updates: salary boost, renovations

Centerville-Abington Community Schools’ teachers will receive a minimum salary increase of $6,303 through their newly approved 2022-2023 district contract. Superintendent Mike McCoy said that negotiations aren’t always smooth sailing, but he appreciates the opportunity to have professional conversations with Centerville Education Association leaders to find solutions. McCoy also said he’s pleased the district could provide a pay increase for teachers that helps show appreciation for their hard work and gets CACS “to where we need to be legally.” Indiana lawmakers implemented salary schedule requirements that have taken effect during this school year. For example, full-time teachers must make a minimum of $40,000 per year.

A panel discusses addiction treatment options

Panelists: County focused on opening doors to addiction treatment

Wayne County is moving away from solely locking up those battling addiction to viewing them as people who can be helped when they’re open to assistance. Five area leaders in law enforcement, government, health care, education and harm reduction participated in a panel discussion Oct. 19 at Holiday Inn in Richmond as part of Meridian Community Health’s speaker series. Participants were Charmin Gabbard, executive director of Connection Café, harm reduction advocate and subject expert; Wayne County Sheriff Randy Retter; Richmond Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Curtis Wright; Lisa Suttle, regional vice president of clinical services for Meridian Health Services; and Dr. Brad Barrett, who is currently running for re-election as District 56’s state representative. Retter said he’s proud that local law enforcement is moving beyond “warehousing” residents and instead helps them find resources to address their addiction and/or mental health concerns, because inmates often deal with one or both.